In the Fast Company article Kickstarter Bets On Bringing The Slow Europe Model Of Journalism To The U.S., Gary Jeanfaivre writes about the future of the local news business, featuring Deca and the Banyan Project:
Stites believes co-op models never caught on in America because times were never so desperate. He and a dedicated group of local volunteers are drumming up support to launch a news site in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a city of 60,000 that is badly in need of reporters.
Fast Company is one of the biggest media brands in the business world. Writing about the startup challenge faced by Haverhill Matters:
Stites says Haverhill Matters will need 200 founding members paying $250 to get off the ground.
Interest in the idea of local news co-ops is growing. So far 33 in the Haverhill area have pledged $250 to help start Haverhill Matters. Like Kickstarter, no one pays until Haverhill Matters reaches its goal:
Stites says Haverhill Matters will need 200 founding members paying $250 to get off the ground. They have a little less than a quarter of that number right now, and Stites says momentum is building. To make the model work long term, Stites estimates that the co-op will need 4,000 members--each paying the equivalent of $1 per week. “It’s equity,” he says, “but this isn’t about making money.”
The Haverhill Matters website is open, but the news operation has not yet begun.